first_imgEVEN the RTE weather forecast is finally admitting it….the remnants of Hurricane Katia will hit Donegal on Sunday night and continue into Monday.And other forecasters say there is a potential for storm force winds of up to 70mph in the early hours of Monday morning.But there is some good news – high pressure could follow with the potential for some sunny and warm weather late next week. Said Irishweatheronline forecaster Peter O’Donnell: “On Sunday night and Monday for the northwest, especially Galway, Mayo and Donegal, there is potential for gales or storm force winds (SW 45-70 mph) with hurricane force winds possible around Donegal Bay and in marine areas west and northwest of the Mayo-Galway coasts.“There will be frequent heavy or squally showers in the north and west. All of this is due to the close passage of extratropical Hurricane Katia which should be near Donegal Bay around 0600-0900h Monday.“At sea there will be very large swells and possible minor storm surges into Galway Bay and other west-facing harbours and bays. Waves in marine areas running 8 to 12 metres.”Tonight the RTE forecast finally mentioned Katia, but insisted it was still too early to say if it would hit Ireland. But on the screen, it could be clearly seen over Donegal!Here’s irishweatheronline’s FURTHER OUTLOOK … Although it may take a few days to clear away the remnant northerly flow and a few showers in eastern counties, a settled, dry and possibly rather warm period may follow around the following weekend as high pressure builds in the wake of Katia.BREAKING NEWS: HURRICANE KATIA TO HIT DONEGAL IN EARLY HOURS OF MONDAY was last modified: September 9th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegal weatherhurricane katiastorm force windsweather donegallast_img read more

Kanyamazane Government Senior Citizens – Episode 22 – Play Your Part

first_imgThe next episode of the Play Your Part Television Series will air on Saturday, 17 February 2018 on SABC 2 at 18h00.Episode 22 is aligned to health, innovation, and active citizenship in respect of volunteerism.It features the Kanyamazane Government Senior Citizens Social Club, Human Writes social innovation start-up and Ikamva Labantu charity organisaton, the Hands of Compassion Christian Community and University of Free State student, Andile Putu’s involvement in the Enactus Entrepreneurial Community.The Kanyamazane Government Senior Citizens Social Club, is a gathering of retired public servants who use their knowledge on health and wellness to assist in the health care of citizens in the community.The Human social innovation start-up improves child and adult literacy through the Ikamva Labantu charity organisation based in Cape Town.Under the guidance of Pastors Alan and Xana MacCauley, the Johannesburg based Hands of Compassion Christian Community affords second chances to young people.Andile Putu oversaw the Enactus Entrepreneurial Community while he was a student at the University of the Free State in an attempt to assist HIV positive orphans and reviving the manufacturing industry in the Free State province.Play Your Part is broadcast at 18:00 on every Saturday on SABC2.To get involved in playing your part in South Africa:Check out the conversation on Twitter: #GetInvolvedTell us how you Play Your Part through our social media channels:Follow us on Twitter: @PlayYourPartSA;Follow Brand South Africa on Twitter: @Brand_SA; orLike us on Facebook: Official Brand South Africalast_img read more

Coping With Termites and Carpenter Ants

first_imgSand or ground stone will discourage termitesTermites also can be stopped with the right backfill around the foundation, says Dana Dorsett. “Backfilling the exterior with clean compacted sand of the right granular size can mitigate termite intrusions fairly well when surrounded by stable soils that won’t settle or frost-heave creating gaps in the sand,” Dorsett writes.“Using copper flashing as the capillary break and termite shield for the foundation sill at the top of an [insulated concrete form] wall is another measure worth taking,” Dorsett says. “The copper flashing is also a thermal bridge, true, but worth it in high-risk areas. (As I understand it, like borates, copper compounds are toxic to the gut flora of wood boring insects, protozoans required for the host insect to digest wood.)”Lucy Foxworth says stone material ground to the right size is an effective termite barrier. “The types I researched online are made from rock and ground to a size that is too big for the termites to move, with spaces between that are too small for the termites and too hard to chew,” she writes.Foxworth says this material is called BTB. Another variety is sold in Australia under the trade name GranitGard.Another type of physical barrier, writes Hein Bloed, is stainless-steel mesh. “It is wrapped around the entire insulation,” Bloed says. “Laid out on the hard core, the EPS placed down and then the mesh is being folded up and over the sides. Like wrapping a parcel.” “Regardless of your local code,” Holladay writes, “here’s my recommendation: If you’re worried about termites, install the rigid foam on the interior of your foundation wall (whether you are building a crawl space or a basement). Leave a strip of your foundation wall uninsulated at the top of the wall as an inspection strip; that’s where you will look for signs of termite activity.”Although that strip of bare concrete will leak heat, he says, “that’s the price you pay to live in a climate that is warm enough for termites.”Holladay adds that expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) treated with borate may offer some protection. Perform Guard is one brand; another is manufactured by the Poly Molding Corp.. GREEN PRODUCT GUIDE And then there are those pesky carpenter antsCarpenter ants are another unfortunate fact of life, although they probably don’t represent as serious a threat to the structural integrity of wood-framed buildings as termites do. Still, they can be a problem, and they apparently like both damp wood and rigid foam insulation. Or maybe it’s dry wood, as a conflicting post suggests.Ants will sometimes bore through dry wood, Dorsett says, but they won’t nest in any wood with moisture content of less than 15%, typically wood that’s been attacked by fungus.“Some species of ants seem to favor picking apart EPS beads (I’ve observed this with picnic-coolers), not just carpenter ants, but I’m not quite sure what that’s about,” Dorsett says. “I’ve seen EPS well-tunneled and traveled, completely riddled by carpenter ants, but never seen an actual nest in EPS — only found the queens and quantities of egg in wood.”Malcolm Taylor, writing from the Pacific Northwest, says carpenter ants are locally ubiquitous, most active in the hottest part of the summer when they swarm.“I often find their nests in the foam sheets insulating tongue-and-groove ceilings which are somewhere between warm and hot with no moisture present,” Taylor says. “Perhaps at some point in the year there was a higher level to attract them to the location in the first place, but they sure don’t move if things are dry during the majority of their tenure. To expand their nests I have seen them completely remove the double top plates between two studs, which at the time must have been under 6%.”[In fact, the photo that accompanies this column (provided by Cathy Rust of BEC Green) shows foam insulation in a roof.]“My experience has been the opposite of yours,” Taylor continued, “that they will tunnel through sound wood but usually nest in the foam.”All of the nests he’s found have been in Styrofoam SM extruded polystyrene. Make sure your local code allows the use of rigid foamBuilding codes in some parts of the country don’t permit the use of foam on exterior foundation walls, GBA senior editor Martin Holladay points out. So the first step would be to check with the local building department to see if that’s an option at all. RELATED ARTICLES If Ants Like Rigid Foam, Should We Stop Using It?Design Buildings So It’s Easy to Spot TermitesControl Termites with a Bait System Ralph’s new home will be in Cleveland, Tennessee, not far from Chattanooga and solidly in termite country. And that’s the problem.“I want to use [rigid foam] on the exterior of the foundation (full height),” Ralph writes in a post at Green Building Advisor’s Q&A forum, “but I have been personally plagued by termites and carpenter ants in every home I have lived in. Short of soaking everything in dieldrin (hard to come by these days but worked beautifully in my opinion and has some nasty side effects), what is the current recommendation for stopping the critters outside the foam/concrete interface?”He’s hoping to start construction this spring. How does he balance his plans for energy-efficient design with the practical necessity of controlling these destructive pests?That’s the topic for this Q&A Spotlight. Two-part flashing detail in IndianaTony Fleming, writing about a deep energy retrofit at his home in Indiana (“land of many lakes, wetlands, and subterranean termites”), says a two-part flashing system was the key to keeping termites from re-infesting the house.“The key element is a J-flashing that wraps around the top of the foundation foam panel at about the sill elevation,” Fleming says. “The long leg of the ‘J’ is adhered to the concrete with a continuous double bead of silicon adhesive (the pest control operator said that termites will not go through the silicon), while the short leg extends back down the front of the foam panel. Any termite tunnels in the foam or on the foam-concrete interface are literally redirected back to the outside where they are visible.”A modified “Z” flashing sits directly on top of the “J” flashing, he adds, and wraps around the rigid foam that is applied to the house sheathing.“This process sounds like a lot of work but it was actually rather easy and took about a day to make and install,” Fleming says. “Our flashing consists of standard white aluminum flashing and was bent on site using a regular metal brake.”The first step, Fleming says, is to identify the type of termite that’s likely to be a problem. “Subterranean termites are the most common in temperate latitudes,” he says, “but other species, such as Formosan termites, come into play in the south and near south. Different species have different requirements [for] moisture, light/darkness, wood, etc.” Our expert’s point of viewHere’s what GBA technical director Peter Yost had to say:In my experience, both termites and carpenter ants love any material that is easy to chew through to get to a nice place to nest: warm, with access to moisture. Carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood, they just chew it to get to where they are going but termites chew wood for food.Some good suggestions have been made already: inspection zones at the top of foundation walls, Termi-Mesh, the stainless-steel mesh, and the original Basalt Termite Barrier from Hawaii. All are completely non-toxic systems. Bait systems do use the latest and least toxic termiticides, and the bait traps confine the substances to the traps and target the termites. Termite baiting is not simple; use this University of Kentucky resource to evaluate bait systems.But maybe the best option is to consider using a rigid foam material that can’t be chewed: rigid mineral wool (Thermafiber, Roxul and Knauf) or Foamglas. Availability and price are definitely considerations with these alternative rigid insulation boards, but they are all just too tough to chew. Mite-Outlast_img read more

When Buildings Design Themselves

first_img RELATED ARTICLES Kelly says nothing more of architects, though automated processes already are changing the profession. Computational design and parametric modeling are routine in architectural practice now, but often they merely facilitate architects’ pursuit of exotic geometry. High-tech eye candy. What’s still relatively rare is employing advanced techniques to improve performance significantly, and what’s nearly unheard of is automating the creative process entirely.This is how designers work: We study a variety of possibilities and choose the ones that work best or we like most. Automation potentially can improve every aspect of this process and become, in Kelly’s words, “better than human.” Seven years ago, in my then-column for Architect magazine, I wrote that computerized automation eventually could fulfill the ultimate aims of green building by achieving dramatically better performance. Now the same magazine has taken up the same topic in a couple of recent articles. In June, Daniel Davis declared that architecture can’t be completely automated because “it is — for now — impossible to get computers to think creatively.” Last month, Blaine Brownell echoed this sentiment, citing a new McKinsey report claiming that “creative tasks are largely immune from automation.” Yet the implications of automating creativity are much bigger than either author lets on.“Robot replacement is just a matter of time,” wrote Kevin Kelly in Wired a few years ago. “It doesn’t matter if you are a doctor, lawyer, architect, reporter, or even programmer.” Robotic manufacturing and other advanced industrial technologies are familiar, but computers also have taken on many white collar tasks, including customer service, journalism, and web design. Computers can study thousands of design variationsFirst, innovation involves generating a large number of ideas to find a very few remarkable ones. Computers can study thousands of variations in the time it takes a designer to look at dozens, discovering possibilities that might never occur to us. As Davis reports, Autodesk, which makes the most popular computer-aided design (CAD) tools for architects, is developing software that “learns the same way we do,” only faster, says the company’s chief technology officer, Jeff Kowalski. “This is the biggest, most fundamental change that I’ve ever seen coming our way.”The trouble is, the way architects normally use computers is to enhance, refine, or document our ideas, not to generate new ideas altogether. As I wrote last month, the architect-as-artist is driven toward highly personalized visions, and we often sacrifice other priorities along the way. In other words, what we like isn’t always what works best, and this could be holding back the entire profession.In Paris this month, world leaders pledged to shrink greenhouse gas emissions markedly, and they cannot accomplish this without the building sector, which is responsible for nearly half of energy and emissions in the U.S. alone. However, a typical “high-performance” building achieves fairly modest energy reduction — 25-35%, according to the U.S. Green Building Council and the American Institute of Architects. And those numbers have flat-lined in recent years, so the industry is stuck, it seems.Yet the National Renewable Energy Laboratory calculates that adopting current best practices can nearly double that outcome, getting to 50-60% reduction, without any additional costs. Applying that to every building could cut the total annual U.S. emissions by a quarter, half the amount needed to stabilize the climate by 2020, according to estimates.While the information needed for architects to raise the bar is readily available, most of us don’t use it, but it’s easily be automated: for example, the engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti has developed automated tools to optimize structures for cost and carbon footprint. With the stakes so high, and human architects not stepping up fast enough, maybe Kelly’s right that “robots will — and must — take our jobs.” What about making beautiful structures?What of beauty? Architecture isn’t strictly about saving money and resources, after all. As I write in my book, The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design (2012), a growing wealth of research is revealing how people respond to light, space, form, pattern, texture, and color, and much of this information could be automated during design.“Beauty is merely a function of mathematical distances or ratios,” explains computer scientist Daniel Cohen-Or. He and a team invented a “beauty engine” that subtly improves photos — with an 80% success rate, according to their polling. The “computational aesthetics algorithm” CrowdBeauty, launched this year, mines millions of photos on Flickr to find overlooked images with exceptional composition, pattern, color, contrast, and brightness. As the MIT Technology Review put it in May, “These guys have taught a machine … to recognize beauty.”I know of few places more gorgeous than an aspen grove in autumn, but there’s no “design” there — just genetic coding and environmental conditioning. Architects Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch have used automated techniques to emulate the growth patterns of nanostructures, and Portuguese artist Leonel Moura has applied artificial intelligence to generate architectural forms by mimicking the emergent behavior of ant colonies. With sufficient computational power and speed, buildings could evolve the way any living system does and make design cheaper, faster, smarter, more efficient, more sustainable, and more beautiful.center_img The naysayers are wrongNaysayers are plenty. Last February in The New York Times, Nicholas Carr declared that “robots will always need us”: “We exaggerate the abilities of computers even as we give our own talents short shrift.” Architects agree: “Technology is important,” Jacques Herzog told Vanity Fair in 2010, “but computers cannot do anything without the assistance of the human brain.”Yet, according to estimates, machines soon will exceed the computational abilities of the human brain — possibly in the next handful of years but certainly during this century. Just this month, Elon Musk launched the OpenAI project specifically to “surpass human intelligence.” In his book, The Glass Cage: Automation and Us, Carr himself confesses that just a few years before Google created a self-driving car, many experts thought it couldn’t happen.Cognitive scientist Margaret Boden defines creativity as “the ability to come up with ideas or artifacts that are new, surprising, and valuable.” Because machines can demonstrate all three, Boden maintains that debates about creativity and computers really are disagreements about what we value. “To accept robot creations as artistic expression,” Moura tells me, “means to deny humans the exclusiveness of creativity, and many people are not willing to do this.”Artificial creativity isn’t science fiction — it could be the future of architecture. The only thing holding it back is architects themselves. Can we get smarter about solving serious new challenges, or will we risk becoming obsolete? Pensive About ProcessReady, Set, Go!Jobsite Communication: Creating a DialogueFrom Designed to Built: Delivering Your Green HomeIntegrated DesignClimate Affects Home DesignUniversal DesignMartin’s Ten Rules of Roof Design Reassessing Passive Solar Design PrinciplesCost-Effective Passive Solar DesignResilient Design: Passive Solar HeatReassessing Passive Solar Design PrinciplesA Contrarian View of Passive Solar DesignPodcast: Architects Discuss Passive Solar DesignSix Myths of Sustainable Design Lance Hosey is chief sustainability officer with Perkins Eastman. This column was originally published at The Huffington Post and is used here with the author’s permission.last_img read more

Lynx beat Mystics for top seed in WNBA Playoffs

first_imgHotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Kristi Toliver hit a 3-pointer with 4:28 remaining to pull Washington within 80-71, but Moore answered at the other end and the Mystics didn’t score again until the 2:09 mark.Toliver led Washington with 20 points. Elena Delle Donne added 12 points in just 18 minutes and Krystal Thomas grabbed 14 rebounds.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingIt was Minnesota’s final game at the Xcel Energy Center as the Lynx will play their home playoff games at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena. The team is moving to accommodate the Minnesota Wild’s preseason schedule.SPARKS 81, SUN 70 LOS ANGELES — Nneka Ogwumike scored 21 points and Candace Parker had a double-double as the defending champion Los Angeles Sparks closed the WNBA regular season with a win over Connecticut.Los Angeles (26-8) went 15-1 at home, but finished a game behind Minnesota for the top seed in the playoffs. The Sparks have a bye until the semifinals. The Sun (21-13) are the fourth seed and have a first-round bye.Parker had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Sparks and Odyssey Sims had 16 points.Courtney Williams led the Suns with 19 points. Jonquel Jones had 10 rebounds to finish with 403, the first player in league history to surpass 400. Tina Charles held the old record at 398. With 10 points, Jones had 20 double-doubles this season.LIBERTY 82, WINGS 81ADVERTISEMENT NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Sharapova comeback, teen’s dream run end at US Open Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ FILE – In this Aug. 3, 2017, file photo, Minnesota Lynx forward Plenette Pierson flexes her muscles to celebrate after a play by center Sylvia Fowles during the third quarter against the Atlanta Dream in a WNBA basketball game in St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota secured the top seed in the WNBA playoffs while the Los Angeles Sparks will be the two seed. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP, File)ST. PAUL, Minnesota — Maya Moore scored 26 points and Renee Montgomery added 18 to help the Minnesota Lynx secure the top seed in the WNBA playoffs with an 86-72 victory over the Washington Mystics on Sunday.Minnesota (27-7) finished the season a game ahead of Los Angeles (26-8). Both teams have byes until in the semifinals on Sept. 12.Washington (18-16) is the sixth seed and plays the Dallas Wings on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters ROSEMONT, Illinois — Breanna Stewart scored 29 points, making two free throws with 15.6 seconds left for a three-point lead, and Seattle beat Chicago.The Storm rallied to take a 79-78 lead with 3:11 left as Jewell Loyd’s open 3-pointer from the corner capped a 9-0 run.After Stewart’s makes, Allie Quigley curled around a high screen but her long 3 was off the mark. Seattle’s Noelle Quinn sealed it by making two free throws with 11.2 seconds left.Loyd added 25 points for Seattle (15-19), which plays at Phoenix on Wednesday night in the first round of the playoffs. Stewart made 10 of 12 at the stripe as the Storm only missed three free throws in 27 attempts.Kahleah Copper paced Chicago (12-22) with 18 points. Courtney Vandersloot set a WNBA record in the third quarter for the highest single-season assists average. Her eight assists per game surpassed Ticha Penicheiro’s 2002 mark of 7.9.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ARLINGTON, Texas — Tina Charles had 18 points and 18 rebounds to help New York clinch the third seed in the playoffs with a win over the Wings and extend the Liberty’s winning streak to 10 games.The Liberty (22-12) matched the franchise record for longest winning streak and have a first-round bye. The seventh-seeded Wings (16-18) play at No. 6 Washington in a one-game playoff on Wednesday.Trailing 82-79 after a Charles putback with 22.1 seconds to play, the Wings missed, but forced a turnover and Aerial Powers scored on a putback with 3.7 seconds left. When the Liberty inbounded the ball in the frontcourt after a timeout, they had a backcourt violation, giving Dallas one last shot. Skylar Diggins-Smith’s attempt from the 3-point line bounced off the rim at the buzzer.MERCURY 84, DREAM 70PHOENIX — Brittney Griner scored 30 points as the Phoenix Mercury closed the regular season with a victory over the Dream on Sunday to secure the fifth seed in the playoffs.Phoenix (18-16) will host Seattle on Wednesday night.Griner reached the 30-point mark for the sixth time in her career with a reverse layup with 1:23 remaining in the fourth quarter. She blocked Elizabeth Williams’ shot at the other end. All six of her 30-point games have come this season.Leilani Mitchell added 18 points for Phoenix and Diana Taurasi was held to nine points on 3-of-12 shooting.Rookie Brittney Sykes scored a career-best 33 points for Atlanta (12-22). She was 12 of 19 from the floor and made seven free throws. Tiffany Hayes added 15 points, and Camille Little moved into a tie with Lauren Jackson for 12th place in WNBA history with 2,447 rebounds, passing Yolanda Griffith.STORM 85, SKY 80 Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View commentslast_img read more

Police investigating suspicious death of Sharp Grossmont Hospital patient

first_img KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, LA MESA (KUSI) — An investigation was underway Friday into the suspicious death of a man at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, police said.The 58-year-old patient died a little before 2 p.m. Thursday at the hospital on Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa police Lt. Vince Brown said.Police did not disclose a reason the death was considered suspicious but said no hospital employees are considered suspects.“Hospital staff reported the incident to La Mesa Police and officers responded to the hospital … at approximately 1:58 p.m.,” Brown said.“Detectives were later called to the scene. No hospital employees are considered subjects in this investigation.”Police did not release any other details, including the name of the person who died, but asked anyone with information about the incident to call La Mesa police at (619) 667-1400, San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580- 8477 or contact the agency online at Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Posted: December 29, 2017 Updated: 4:07 PMcenter_img December 29, 2017 Police investigating suspicious death of Sharp Grossmont Hospital patient Categories: Local San Diego News Tags: La Mesa Police, Sharp Grossmont Hospital FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

iBall Launches QuadCore Cobalt Andi 47G Smartphone with 42 Jelly Bean OS

first_imgOSAndroid Jelly Bean 4.2 GPSGPS and A-GPS Battery2220mAh battery The Cobalt Andi 4.7G will directly compete with Samsung Grand Quattro, Lava Xolo Q700, Wicked Leak Wammy Titan and Micromax Canvas A 116. But even with slightly different features, the phone could be considered a bit overpriced compared to its rivals in the Indian market where there is no dearth of quad-core smartphones. Additional FeaturesDual SIM Dual standby; Gyro, Compass Geo Sensor, Proximity sensor, Light sensor and magnetic sensor; OTG Function; Pop Up Play; Flip To Mute, Intelligent Answer and Shake to Answer, Direct Call, Gesture Unlock Screen, Power Saving mode, Boot Accelaration, iBall Connect and Dual MIC fro noise redution. Connectivity3G HSPA downlink 42 Mbps, uplink 11Mbps; Edge/GPRS GSM: 900/1800/1900MHZ; Wi-FI 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth 4.0 Mumbai-based handset manufacturer iBall expanded its range of Andi smartphones, with the launch of its Cobalt Andi 4.7G running on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.The new Andi smartphone priced at ₹19,995 and from e-retailer Tradus it is available for ₹17,990 onwards.The new dual-SIM Cobalt Andi 4.7G smartphone comes with a quad-core 1.2 GHZ Cortex A7 processor backed by 1GB RAM. It sports a 4.7-inch IPS HD (720p) display with a pixel density of 312ppi. The other specs include an internal memory of 16GB which could be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card. It also supports generic Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi hotspot along with OTA updates.The new Andi smartphone sports a massive 12-megapixel auto focus rear camera and a 5-megapixel auto-focus front camera. The 2,200mAh battery allows extended battery life.  On the sensor front, it is equipped with G-sensor, Gryo Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Light and Magnetic Sensors.  The USB connector enables it to connect to the keyboard and mouse.Key specs of the new Cobalt Andi 4 7G are:Design and DisplayDesign and Display11.94 cm (4.7”) IPS HD (720p) 1280×720 (320ppi) displayErgonomic camber-line surface (Curved TP)11.94 cm (4.7”) IPS HD (720p) 1280×720 (320ppi) displayErgonomic camber-line surface (Curved TP)Design and DisplayProcessor11.94 cm (4.7”) IPS HD (720p) 1280×720 (320ppi) displayErgonomic camber-line surface (Curved TP)Quad core 1.2 GHz Cortex A7processorDesign and DisplayCamera11.94 cm (4.7”) IPS HD (720p) 1280×720 (320ppi) displayErgonomic camber-line surface (Curved TP)Enhanced 12MP AF Camera with Dual LED flash5MP AF Front camera for video Calling.Design and DisplayBattery11.94 cm (4.7”) IPS HD (720p) 1280×720 (320ppi) displayErgonomic camber-line surface (Curved TP)2220mAh batteryDesign and DisplayRAM and Storage11.94 cm (4.7”) IPS HD (720p) 1280×720 (320ppi) displayErgonomic camber-line surface (Curved TP)1GBRAM; 16GB internal storage and 32GB external MicroSD card supportDesign and DisplayOS11.94 cm (4.7”) IPS HD (720p) 1280×720 (320ppi) displayErgonomic camber-line surface (Curved TP)Android Jelly Bean 4.2Design and DisplayConnectivity11.94 cm (4.7”) IPS HD (720p) 1280×720 (320ppi) displayErgonomic camber-line surface (Curved TP)3G HSPA downlink 42 Mbps, uplink 11Mbps; Edge/GPRS GSM: 900/1800/1900MHZ; Wi-FI 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth 4.0Design and DisplayGPS11.94 cm (4.7”) IPS HD (720p) 1280×720 (320ppi) displayErgonomic camber-line surface (Curved TP)GPS and A-GPSDesign and DisplayAdditional Features11.94 cm (4.7”) IPS HD (720p) 1280×720 (320ppi) displayErgonomic camber-line surface (Curved TP)Dual SIM Dual standby; Gyro, Compass Geo Sensor, Proximity sensor, Light sensor and magnetic sensor; OTG Function; Pop Up Play; Flip To Mute, Intelligent Answer and Shake to Answer, Direct Call, Gesture Unlock Screen, Power Saving mode, Boot Accelaration, iBall Connect and Dual MIC fro noise redution.Design and DisplayBundled Accessories11.94 cm (4.7”) IPS HD (720p) 1280×720 (320ppi) displayErgonomic camber-line surface (Curved TP)Extra Flip Cover, OTG Cable and Screen Guard.center_img ProcessorQuad core 1.2 GHz Cortex A7processor Design and Display11.94 cm (4.7”) IPS HD (720p) 1280×720 (320ppi) displayErgonomic camber-line surface (Curved TP) Bundled AccessoriesExtra Flip Cover, OTG Cable and Screen Guard. RAM and Storage1GBRAM; 16GB internal storage and 32GB external MicroSD card support CameraEnhanced 12MP AF Camera with Dual LED flash5MP AF Front camera for video Calling.last_img read more

Indigenous icon Morales losing grounds among native people

first_imgPeople sit in front of signs against Bolivian President Evo Morales` bid for re-election in 2019 in La Paz. Photo: ReutersIn 12 years as president of South America’s poorest country, Evo Morales has accomplished many of the goals he set forth when he became the first indigenous person to lead Bolivia.The 58-year-old leftist and former coca farmer has presided over an economy that has grown by an annual average of 4.6 percent since he took office, more than twice the rate for all of Latin America.After nationalizing the country’s bounteous natural gas reserves, he pursued market-friendly economic policies and invested export revenue in social programs that helped lift more than two million people, nearly a fifth of the population, from poverty.With a new constitution in 2009, he even changed the name of the country from the Republic of Bolivia to the Plurinational State of Bolivia, reflecting diverse ethnicities that for centuries had felt like second-class citizens.For Bolivia’s more than 4 million indigenous people, support for Morales appeared to pay off. The poverty rate dropped from 59.9 percent in 2006 to 36.4 percent last year. Access for indigenous communities to electricity, sewerage and water service all grew, according to the World Bank. Here in Charagua, in the country’s remote southern lowlands, Guarani people recently dissolved the local municipality and launched Bolivia’s first experiment in autonomous government. The move, made possible by the new constitution, is meant to replace distant, homogenous rule with policies tailored to the local, indigenous reality. Yet here and across Bolivia, indigenous people are increasingly turning against Evo, as the poncho-wearing Morales is known. The dissatisfaction – over everything from proposed development of indigenous lands to his successful gambit to end term limits – is marring what had been widespread acclaim for a leader emblematic to first peoples’ movements worldwide.   “His way of thinking and his actions aren’t indigenous,” said Gualberto Cusi, a former judge and ethnic Aymara, an influential Andean tribe from which Morales himself also hails. Cusi, who was barred from the Constitutional Court by Congress last year after disagreements with the government, now leads a group of indigenous dissidents. Many Aymara have flourished under Morales’ rule. Building upon a long history selling textiles along Lake Titicaca, they now thrive in commerce, like importing Chinese electronics they sell as far afield as the Amazon rainforest.  But even they are increasingly fed up. “He should go,” said Joaquin Quispe, a cook whose Aymara family moved from Bolivia’s interior to El Alto, a city where a swelling indigenous influx in recent years made it outgrow nearby La Paz, the country’s administrative center.What particularly bothers some are moves by Morales, using supporters in Congress and the judiciary, to consolidate power.Although his own 2009 constitution set a limit of two five-year terms, Morales asked voters in a 2016 referendum to let him run again in 2019.When they said no, Morales convinced the Constitutional Court to let him anyway. The court, consisting of jurists nominated by Congressional allies, ruled that term limits are a violation of his “human rights.” Morales’ spokeswoman, Gisela Lopez, declined to make the president available for an interview and didn’t respond to requests for comment for this story. A close ally, former Senate President Jose “Gringo” Gonzales, said Morales hasn’t abandoned indigenous peoples, but has evolved as president to represent and work with everyone.  “He can sit for one minute with a businessman and the next with a worker,” said Gonzales, who stepped down from the Senate last week for undisclosed reasons. “He still has the humility and simplicity that were highlighted when he took office.”Morales is now the longest consecutively serving head of state in the Americas. He is the sole leader remaining from a wave of leftists, including Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, who dominated Latin American politics early this century.His name, which graces schools, stadiums, and cultural centers, is increasingly voiced in street protests and scrawled in graffiti. All over the divided country, “Bolivia said no!” sprayings compete with ”Evo Yes!” signs painted by supporters of his party, Movement Toward Socialism, or MAS.Morales won’t go before voters again until late next year. And the opposition remains fragmented, meaning no other leader in Bolivia as yet compares in political stature.Still, in a July poll commissioned by newspaper Pagina Siete, support for the president among likely voters fell to 27 percent from 31 percent last November. A survey by pollster Ipsos this week showed a similar level of support, at 29 percent of likely voters, with a six-point drop over the past year in his approval rating, now at 43 percent.Over the past eight months, Reuters traveled across Bolivia to better understand the waning support for the president among indigenous peoples. From his native Altiplano, the high, arid plateau home to the Aymara, to gas-rich lowlands, where the government has authorized extraction on indigenous lands, many native Bolivians say they no longer feel represented by Morales.“A NEW ERA”For many, the years following Morales’s 2005 election were marked by jubilation and hope.Before his official inauguration in January 2006, Aymara “maestros,” or ritual leaders, held their own ceremony at the pre-Incan site of Tiwanaku, west of La Paz. Morales, in a traditional red tunic, climbed the Akapana pyramid, where shamans presided over a fire ritual and presented him with a staff symbolizing his right to lead the assembled tribes.“Today begins a new era for the native peoples of the world,” Morales said. Tens of thousands of indigenous activists, along with native delegations from as far away as Chile and the United States, cheered.Within months, he began asserting his plans to “decolonize” Bolivia and give locals more voice in government and a greater share of national wealth. On May 1, Labor Day, he ordered troops to occupy natural gas fields and nationalized all hydrocarbons.“The time has come, the longed-for day, a historic day for Bolivia to retake absolute control of our natural resources,” he said in a speech while surrounded by soldiers at an oil field operated by Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, the Brazilian energy company.Morales began renegotiating energy contracts for a bigger share of the profits, a move that ultimately many companies agreed to. The negotiations earned him plaudits from supporters and boosted government revenues at a time when gas prices were soaring.With the windfalls, Morales enacted measures including school vouchers for kids and pensions for workers who had never held formal employment.For the day-to-day business of governance, Morales appointed women, indigenous peoples and labor leaders to his cabinet. He embraced grass-roots organizations and forged a so-called “Unity Pact,” comprising leaders of Andean, lowland and Amazon tribes. Together, they helped draft the new constitution, approved by 60 percent of Bolivians in a 2009 referendum. That year, in a landslide, Morales won a second term.Tensions with indigenous groups first emerged in 2011.  Enjoying what by then was steadily improving economic growth, Morales proposed a 300-kilometer road through the Isiboro Secure Indigenous Territory, or Tipnis, a Jamaica-sized refuge in the Amazon. The highway, Morales argued, was necessary to bring basic services to remote tribes.But native groups and environmentalists were enraged.The road, they argued, more likely would facilitate drug trafficking, illegal logging and other unwanted activity. Protesters marched for more than a month, during which police and demonstrators clashed in clouds of tear gas and flurries of rubber bullets. “When Evo took office we thought indigenous people would never have to march again,” said Adolfo Chavez, a native Tacana and former president of The Confederation of Indigenous People of Bolivia, or Cidob, a grouping of 34 lowland tribes.The marching succeeded, at least for a time. That September, Morales halted work on the road for further study. But relations with some native groups were damaged.Two major indigenous rights organizations, Cidob and The National Council of Ayllus and Markas of Qullasuyu, left the Unity Pact. Since then, the split has widened into divisions that fall along political lines, not rivalries among Bolivia’s three dozen ethnicities.Soon, government supporters began to pressure both groups, using MAS loyalists to stage what some members described as coups within the organizations. Politics and loyalty to Morales began to matter more than the indigenous cause, they said.  Cidob leader Chavez was voted out in 2012. Chavez, who left Bolivia and now lives in Peru, says he was a victim of political persecution for leading the Tipnis demonstrations. Pedro Vare, Cidob’s current leader, in local media has continued to back Morales and criticize the protesters. Reuters was unable to reach Vare for an interview.One rainy evening in December 2013, MAS activists broke down the door of the two-story La Paz headquarters of Conamaq, as the other indigenous rights group is known. Once inside, they forced members, some of whom were visiting La Paz from remote regions and living there during their stay, to leave.“We had nowhere to go,” recalls Cristobal Salles, an Aymara and Quechua speaker who was a Conamaq councilman and now farms potatoes.  Dissent at both groups vanished.Hilarion Mamani, a 41-year-old  Quechua who led the Conamaq takeover, told Reuters a purge had been necessary. Using a charge long wielded against opponents by some leftists in Latin America, Mamani said previous leaders were acting on behalf of “North American imperialists.” Now, he added, “there are no divisions.”That’s because most of the previous members went on to form  dissident indigenous groups. Those groups have campaigned to enforce presidential term limits and against renewed efforts to build the Tipnis road and other projects on native lands.  In 2014, Morales began his sustained effort to stay in power.Despite the constitutional limit of two terms, Morales argued that his first administration shouldn’t be counted because he had been elected under a previous constitution. In the Constitutional Court, by then composed mostly of judges nominated by allies of Morales in Congress, he found a sympathetic audience.Except for one justice – Cusi, the fellow Aymara who at that time sat on the court. Cusi sought a strict interpretation of the charter and argued against another term. But the other judges prevailed. Morales ran for re-election and, with 60 percent of the vote, won a third term starting in January 2015. Before long, relations with native groups grew worse still.  In February 2015, a government comptroller discovered a $10 million shortfall in a state fund for indigenous projects, finding records of initiatives that had been funded, but never carried out.  Two of Morales’ former rural development ministers were convicted of misusing public funds and served brief jail terms.Some onetime Morales supporters were outraged. “It seems corruption has been institutionalized,” Edwin Prada, a lawyer and former advisor to Conamaq, said in an interview.Morales in public comments has said the fund was poorly run. Reuters couldn’t reach either of the two former ministers for comment.That year, natural gas prices fell from a peak in 2014. The country’s economy, while still healthier than that of many neighbors, cooled.Criticism of Morales and his party grew.   “LORD KING EVO MORALES”In  March 2015, residents of El Alto, formerly a bastion of Morales support, handed MAS its first big electoral defeat. They voted out the city’s MAS mayor, who had polarized local voters because of municipal spending, and elected Soledad Chapeton, an Aymara from a center-right party who became the city’s first female mayor.Morales, meanwhile, kept working to prolong his own mandate – first through the failed referendum and then through another plea to the Constitutional Court. By last year, the court was firmly allied with Morales.After opposing other government initiatives, Cusi, the Aymara judge, was impeached by the Senate. The day before the May 2017 ruling, Cusi donned chains in front of government headquarters and scoffed at what he considered his foregone ouster. “Lord King Evo Morales,” he said before television cameras, “order your puppet senators to condemn me.”  Officially, Cusi was accused of failing to fulfill duties. But many government critics called his removal political.“They found a pretext to oust me,” Cusi told Reuters. Now the head of a Conamaq breakaway group, Cusi recently announced he would seek the office of attorney general.With the go-ahead to pursue a fourth term, Morales stoked even more ire.Early last year, students at the Public University of El Alto, a bastion of political activism, began demonstrating for more educational funding. The ruling on term limits sparked further discontent, fueling demonstrations that continued into this year.In a clash with police, one student died. Police said the student, Jonathan Quispe, was killed when students hurled marbles. University officials said he was shot by police. Reuters couldn’t independently determine what led to Quispe’s death.Last August, Congress approved a project to restart the Tipnis highway. Other construction projects are also drawing fire.At a cost to taxpayers of $7 million, Morales last year inaugurated a three-wing museum with large modern windows in Orinoca, the remote Altiplano town where he grew up herding llamas. The “Museum of the Democratic and Cultural Revolution” tells Bolivia’s recent history through Morales’ own achievements.This month, Morales presided over the opening of a new 28-floor presidential palace in La Paz. He calls the $34 million building “the big house of the people.”The projects, some critics say, are further proof Morales lost touch. “He always said he would consult the people,” said Salles, the former Conamaq leader. “Now he doesn’t.”In Charagua, the lowland Guarani region, residents are struggling with autonomy. One recent afternoon, locals at a school auditorium hashed through problems now plaguing their experiment, the first of three autonomous regions approved by voters recently.Charagua, roughly the size of Panama, in the 1930s was the site of successful resistance against Paraguayan invaders who sought to seize area gas reserves. Despite having gas, however, Charagua remains poor, accessible only by dirt roads. The regional budget, financed in part by La Paz, remains the roughly $4.5 million it was before autonomy. But locals say the national government has all but abandoned them otherwise.“We are worse than before,” said one resident who identified himself as Victor before storming out of the auditorium. “I want a recall on this autonomy.”Reuters was unable to reach the Morales cabinet official in charge of indigenous autonomy.Guarani leaders there said they, too, are unhappy. Ramiro Lucas, a 44-year-old leader of a southern portion of Charagua, lamented that the region recently had to halt school breakfasts because money was needed for health centers. “Now we have land, but what good is that if we don’t have resources?” he told Reuters.last_img